[sword-devel] Propaganda

Jan Paul Schmidt sword-devel@crosswire.org
08 Aug 2002 21:31:12 +0200

Am Don, 2002-08-08 um 13.04 schrieb Christian Renz:
> >wrong list to ask? Is everybody on holiday? Or is it just Chris who
> >think it is worth to have a newsletter for Sword and related projects?
> Well, I have not been involved in sword for too long, but since you
> asked, I will offer my opinion :-)

Thanks :o)

> I think it would be a good idea to publish a regular newsletter that
> informs those interested about new developments in sword as well as
> needs that arise (for more developers, for translatons, for prayer,
> ...).


> Also, I think it would be  a good idea to contact major
> christian websites to ask them to publish an article about sword. I
> will do that for jesus.de, one of the major christian internet portals
> in Germany.
> The communication amongst the developers seems to be very good and can
> be handled by a mailinglist, but the communication towards (possible)
> users needs to be quite different. The average pastor/cell
> leader/... is not a nerd that is interested in technical details, and
> they probably never heard of the GPL as well. Some good non-techie
> material about the wealth of modules in sword, sword's features,
> advantages of free software etc. would sure be good. For some, using a
> computer to read the bible might still be rather clumsy -- some
> education needs to be done here.

Well, reading the bible with a computer is clumsy as long you don't own
one of this tablets you could take to bed :o)

> Also, I think it would be good to target special possible user groups
> as well. I'd love sword to be an indispensable tool for missionaries
> to China one day :-). Seriously, I think sword's unicode features
> could make it a useful tool on the mission field.
> Another "special user group" would be module authors. We need tools so
> people can publish their own modules easily. For example, the personal
> commentary module could be modified so that it offers options to
> bundle it into a commentary module that can be given away to others --
> not necessarily via crosswire, but via a churches website, for
> example. (A HTTP-capable install manager would be cool for that.) I'd
> also love to see more personalization options in sword -- highlighting
> in the bible text, little markes next to the verse that show that the
> current commentary has a comment for this verse, ...
> Maybe we also need some DAUs (German for Dumbest Users Possible ;-))
> to tell use what is wrong with sword right now. It is nice to use for
> people that are familiar with computers, but what about those that are
> not working with them on a daily basis? I'm sure we could improve the
> interface. I'd love to see sword deal with a load of modules more
> comfortably (without those long lists of tabs), and to present the
> texts in a nicer way. We all know it is hard to read text on a
> computer screen; more formatting options would be helpful to make it
> more apealling to read.
> I got a bit carried away from the authoring problem. I don't have
> enough faith to see major Christian authors releasing their works for
> sword :-) but I do think we need better tools to publish modules,
> especially commentaries and books. Maybe the existing structure needs
> to be abit more flexible as well -- e.g. somebody might want to
> publish a mixture between a book and a commentary. That would be a
> genbook, with an automatically created index of bible verses
> used. This way, the user could be alerted that the book relates to the
> current verse when he reads the bible.
> Also, is there any support right now to include graphics (maps etc)?
> Well -- enough of random thoughts. For now.

It is good to see, someone have similar thoughts. I would say, they are
not random ;o) (Or is it just typical german?) OK, I hope nobody feels
offended now.

Christian mentioned something I'm working on. Not for the windows
frontend but for GnomeSword. Nevertheless, a common scheme of
installation of modules from a remote server would be nice.

I'm currently fetching the conf files from


and a list of available modules from 


I'm using http because of some possible firewall restrictions the user
might have. What would be really nice is one place to fetch a
description file, where to find the conf files and where to find the
modules. Why? The user just has to point to a URL and the application
gets the rest of the information itself. Someone who wants to distribute
books themself just have to contribute a URL where this description file
will be found and this could be easily added to a list of book servers.


You point your module installation application to




and it automatically downloads a file like


which contains


Now this is a real simple scheme. I don't mind if the smart guys come up
with something more flexible. I just think, that there should be
something like this. Maybe the Sword API could be extended for such a
mechanism in the future.